Oil Change Frquency? Really? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Change Frquency? Really?

So apologize in advance if asked and answered, but I didn't find anything easy and my IE is on the fritz.

But the owner's manual seems to indicate oil changes are needed only at 600 mi, 7,500 mi, 15,000 mi, and then like 24k mi or something. Is that right? Just seems like an awful long time for oil in vehicle especially with a wet clutch?

Anyhow I was wondering if I needed to get on it for a late season change and realized I might be WAY ahead of the game. Any benefit to more regular or quicker (time interval) changes? Otherwise I might just take this last change from early summer as deep as I can and then do a winter change once the bike starts sitting around a little more than it is now.

Thanks all for the insight.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 03:37 PM
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As long as an oil brand meets specs they are all really good nowadays but it seems many prefer to change 5k or so as a safe bet even if though it is more frequent than what the OM calls for. Of course the OM also calls for ridiculously frequent sparkplug changes!

I think one member changes around 2k and there are many who change a lot less frequently but with it requiring only a little over 2 quarts frequent changes don't hurt you $ much. "Happy Median"?

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 04:27 PM
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yeap...i usually do it every 3k`s...think about for less than 20.00 bucks(3 trips to McDonals) you can have great piece of mind and Good Clean oil on your bike.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 06:27 PM
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Newer cleaner burning engines do not dirty up the oil as quickly as your dads old carbureted V8. Our new Fiesta has 10,000 mile oil change intervals. In the bikes I run Amsoil or Mobil and change it about ever 8 to 10k miles.

BTW the oil in the Fiesta with 8000 miles on it was still clear-ish. Different than new? Yes but not dirty black like engines from the 60s and 70s.

If it makes you nervous send the oil off to have it analyzed.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 09:27 PM
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Take your pan of hot drained oil and look at in the sun. Stick your finger in and stir it. I don't want to leave that stuff in my oil. I want it outa there, so I change the oil. If I can see it in the drain pan, the filter did not catch it. 2,000 miles with cheap correct to spec oil and a $3.00 filter. OIl breaks down by heat and shear and builds up contaminants. Heat is not a problem, its a water cooled engine. So my biggest concern is the junk that is in the oil from the transmission gears, bushings, and clutch.
I can change my oil and filter for about $15.00.

Manual says change oil and filter 7500 miles. It also says we should be in 6th gear at 34 mph. Try it....

2 qts = 2,000 miles to me. 12 quarts in my diesel truck, 8,000 miles for an oil change.
Nuff I hope.
To each his own.

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Last edited by David RSparky3; 09-26-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:06 PM
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It also says we should be in 6th gear at 34 mph. Try it....
Sounds like how I ride.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by David RSparky3 View Post

2 qts = 2,000 miles to me. 12 quarts in my diesel truck, 8,000 miles for an oil change.

David
Hmmm... I'm not sure I quite understand your math. Your diesel truck engine is much much bigger than these small compact moto engines. I don't understand how quantity makes a difference in oil life.

I try to stay somewhat green...meaning not being wasteful with oil. 2,000 mile oil change intervals seems a little excessive unless you only ride 2,000 miles a year.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by El Tig View Post
As long as an oil brand meets specs they are all really good nowadays but it seems many prefer to change 5k or so as a safe bet even if though it is more frequent than what the OM calls for. Of course the OM also calls for ridiculously frequent sparkplug changes!

I think one member changes around 2k and there are many who change a lot less frequently
From one of the original oil threads on the forum (http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=1417) there was a member (who does not appear to be active now) who claimed to change his synthetic oil every 400-500 miles! I guess one can say "To each his own," but what a waste.

I change things by the book - even the spark plugs. I simply have not heard of a modern engine being damaged from somewhat more infrequent oil changes. Oil today is very good.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 11:26 PM
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Oil today is very good.
As are the engines and their ability to not contaminate the oil. First oil change is critical just to remove any machine partials (if there are any).

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:03 AM
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Oil/filter change every 4000Km. spark plug still original at 22K Km. cleaned air filter at 12k Km.

dont see any adverse effect still, bike run pretty smooth.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:24 AM
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Depends on oil used. Dun know about the V since it is still new to me. On the 250R Ninja, when the oil is beaten to near death, the gear shifts will begin to act up especially during the warmer parts of the day. Viscosity has been sheared down by 1 SAE Grade (from xW40 to xW30). Then I know, it is time to change.

I had some mystery oil when I got the 250R, it being used, the shop did the oil service for me before it was delivered to me. Thought they put in good stuff until at 1500km, I had difficulty getting the right shifts. Thought the bike may have some issues but it has only been used 4000km lifespan. I didn't change the oil, and it got worse on the shifting especially on hotter part of the day. Mornings are ok. Got the oil changed 1800km later, and what a difference it made. The new oil was Motul 5100 and I think it is a counterfeit product but it lasted 4k km and begin to show sign of difficult gear shifts. Switched the oil to Fully Synthetic, the shifts went back to normal, and lasted me at least 4500km consistently and I couldn't see how long it can go as i sold the bike and got the V.

For me, 5k km as standard unless the gear shifting is no longer per my expectation. It's good to consistently use 1 type of brand for oil as you will know how long it can last approximately. I can't tell if the V is picky on the gear shifts when the oil has been shear mutilated. I am assuming it does.

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Last edited by 2daMax; 09-27-2011 at 03:35 AM.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 06:55 AM
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Oil/filter change every 4000Km. spark plug still original at 22K Km. cleaned air filter at 12k Km.

dont see any adverse effect still, bike run pretty smooth.

4,000 Km = 2500 miles.

Quote:
Hmmm... I'm not sure I quite understand your math. Your diesel truck engine is much much bigger than these small compact moto engines. I don't understand how quantity makes a difference in oil life.
Diesel max RPM 3,500. Versys Max RPM 10500 Rpm. Its not math.

I take care of a fleet of 20+ vans for an electrical company. Oil is changed every 3,000-4,000 miles. They each hold 7 quarts. Vans get traded in soon after they reach 100,000 miles. Never lost an engine in 7 years. Most of those vans also have the ORIGINAL spark plugs in them when they get traded in.


I don't expect anybody to do it like I do, just showing my reasoning.

David
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds good. I was figuring 3-5k miles between would be 'comfortable' without going overboard. For the required time and $ needed it's no big bananas to do it whenever you feel it's needed.

Anytime you start talking oil, tires, tire pressure, etc I know you're kind of opening a Pandora's box of sorts so no intent to cause anything major. Just wondering what other folks were doing.

Thanks again all-
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 08:15 AM
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I have a Diesel VW Jetta SportWagen and VW says change oil every 10k miles and that is what I do. I figure they know what the heck they are doing better than I do. And they also have a reputation to protect. But the oil gets dark in a few hundred miles...

So I didn't buy stock in any of the oil companies, so I change when the manufacturer says change. Besides, it saves me money and the environment..

But that is just me...
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 11:21 AM
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I change the oil in my fuel injected BMW 1100 RT at 3,000 miles. It holds 4 qts with filter.

The folks on the BMW boards say I am wasting time and money. Oil samples show 6,000 miles is fine.

Go ahead. I have 130,000 miles on my air/oil cooled BMW.

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:01 PM
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Oil life changes depending on use and environment. Hotter climate and dustier conditions change more frequently, cooler climate and cleaner air change less. Run short distances at high speed or stop and go traffic, change more frequently, long distances at normal speeds change less.

Manufacturer recomendations follow a set of assumptions in usage. The Versys manual does not state what are the assumptions they only state change after so many miles or so much time.

You might not need to do the change every year if your bike is used less that the mileage recommended for change due to it been parked in a garage for so much time per year.

Since I do not ride in extreme conditions, I follow the manufacturers recommendations for mileage. That put my oil changes about a year apart. In three years I have not seen any changes in the performance of the bike.

Keep in mind that the most of the people that recommend very frequent oil changes are in the business of selling oil and oil changes.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:25 PM
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Go ahead. I have 130,000 miles on my air/oil cooled BMW.

Thats awesome. Most of us will never put that kind of mileage on a vehicle though. Having said that I put 60k on my last VW 1.8t. Changing oil every 10k miles (using AmsOil). I gave it to my son at that point who put another 40k on it using the same oil change intervals. He sold the car to a guy in the air force who as since put another 30 k on it. Last I heard it was still running great.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:28 PM
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Oil life changes depending on use and environment. Hotter climate and dustier conditions change more frequently, cooler climate and cleaner air change less. Run short distances at high speed or stop and go traffic, change more frequently, long distances at normal speeds change less.
My gf's civic has no recomended mileage interval. The computer on the car determines how often its changed based on how it is being driven. It gives a % life remaining on the oil. I changed the oil based on that and it usually ends up being within a few hundred miles each time. Something around 6k miles.
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:55 AM
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The engine in my Versys can probably live a long time if I change the full-synthetic oil every 6k-7k, but I change each 4k anyway because the shifting gets a little notchy and clunky.
I don't mind changing the oil a little early to have a better "feel" when I ride.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 01:16 PM
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The engine in my Versys can probably live a long time if I change the full-synthetic oil every 6k-7k, but I change each 4k anyway because the shifting gets a little notchy and clunky.
I don't mind changing the oil a little early to have a better "feel" when I ride.
That's my approach also, as I notice the shift getting rougher if you go too much higher than 4-4.5k miles between changes.

Michael
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